Governor signs legislation to replace Medicaid system

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Gov. Matt Blunt (R) signed into law MO HealthNet, which replaces Missouri's Medicaid program.

The $6 billion program will help to shift the focus of state-funded health care to prevention and early detection of diseases, according to a statement from the governor's office. In 2005, thousands of low-income residents lost coverage when Blunt and the Legislature restricted Medicaid eligibility.

A key component of the new system is the healthcare home, or home base for Medicaid beneficiaries. Here, health professionals and patients can address health concerns before they become catastrophic, the release said. The legislation also restores dental and vision care for Medicaid beneficiaries, and coverage for necessary medical equipment for adults.